What in the world is the “Polar Vortex”?

photophotophoto The country was gripped this week in sub zero temperatures and we all heard on the news about the “Polar Vortex”. I am amazed that now we have descriptions for phenomena like snow storms, and cold fronts that are named like Hurricanes. Polar Vortex? Hey folks- it’s January. Most of the country experiences winter and in January you get snow, ice, cold temperatures, darkness, and a general feeling of “woe is me.” Some of us have been spoiled with some milder winters as of late, but in International Falls,Minnesota, Fargo, North Dakota, Buffalo, New York, and all of New England, winter rules in January.

Now, you can either let yourself be gripped in fear and depression as the news media bombards you with tales of woe on a daily basis as you exit your home to school or work in the dark and return in the dark, and cold, and the feeling that you live in a Dickens novel. Or you can adhere to the wonderful description of attitude by Chuck Swindoll when he states that “life is 10 per cent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” Personally, I like winter as you have seen from my blog posts this winter and last. I am a skier. I like snow. I don’t even mind if I travel and am hampered with delays because I have the attitude that I will get through any inconveniences and get to my destination bound and determined to harvest some of the great skiing conditions that are available. Even when I go to my local area early in the morning, when it is dark, and cold, and the roads are covered with ice and snow, I know that soon I will be making turns.

People asked me this week whether I still run the trails at night when it is in the single digits or below zero temperature. I smiled and said “sure- why not.” I love the air, the snow on the trails and trees, and the general good feeling of health when you finish a run in the winter. Like my friend the Shark says,” there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices.” He corrected me on that this weekend by saying,” choices Paddy!” I ski and run in Gore Tex Pro clothing. You can layer and be dry as a bone and protected by the wind. Patagonia makes wonderful clothing like this as seen in the pictures above. My “go to” outfit it the Patagonia “Super Alpine.” As they advertise, it is indeed bomb proof and is great for all outdoor activities. I have the down sweaters that I wear under a shell when I ski and I also have polypropylene shirts that I can layer to use on a run or a mountain bike ride. Layering is the key and if you can keep the wind from penetrating your clothing, you can easily ski, ride, or run in sub zero conditions. Check out http://www.patagonia.com.

The main point here though is attitude. My dad always had an expression that said,” Smile- the fresh air is good for your teeth.” Sure it’s dark, and cold, and snowing, but it is winter!! Embrace the winter and thank God you are alive and have the health to enjoy the trails, paths, roads, and slopes, where you live. I heard a lot of moaning this week about the Polar Vortex and the bad weather and I laughed as I left work to go to the trails to run utilizing my headlamp. I will probably ski in the rain this weekend because we will be on the ass end of the Polar Vortex with warm air being sucked up our way as the Vortex exits out over the ocean. Take it as it comes people. Enjoy life. Enjoy the winter. Get snowshoes, cross country skis, alpine skis, ice skates, Flexible Flyers, toboggans and get out there and put that smile on your face. You might cover that mug up with a scarf but get out there and enjoy the winter. Spring will be here soon enough and we all will enjoy the transition. But in the mean time, enjoy what we have and you will be amazed at how positive attitude will help you in your work place, your home, and in your relationships. Try it. My friend Nancy Leverett who is an active skier and is visually impaired, read my recommended book,” Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley and told me she went right out and joined a gym. She not only enjoys winter sports like skiing and ice skating, she now is motivated to work out to stay in shape for those activities. Check out http://www.youngernextyear.com Great book that I always recommend to help with attitude adjustment.

Polar Vortex? Bring it on man!! Get that positive attitude, get the best equipment and clothes, and go do it!!! Embrace the winter. Thanks for reading.

5 thoughts on “What in the world is the “Polar Vortex”?

  1. Bill belch says:

    Pat the willingness to do anything is all you need !

  2. Edie says:

    As my dad always said, ” all snow is good snow!”

  3. Hutch says:

    Patrick i want you to know that this weekend was a real treat! Skiied in a wonderful rainstorm yesterday, that dropped over an inch and a half of rain, and overnight it froze up to some of the finest bulletproof i have skiied in years! Ski the east and wear your gore tex! Love it!

    • McCloskey, Pat says:

      You are the man Hutch. A true New England tough guy. We will be skiing soon together brother!!!

      Sent from my iPhone


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